The European Commission has called on US Attorney General Eric Holder to account for the country’s recent spying revelations that has also targeted the Europeans, a report says.
EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said on Tuesday that it demands the United States to provide assurances that EU citizens and companies have received the same fundamental respect and rights as US residents when it comes to data protection, The Washington Post said.
The executive body of the EU said that it would meet with Holder in Dublin, Ireland on Thursday to answer questions over recent spying operations conducted on EU citizens and companies.
“The commission has raised this systematically in its dialogue with the US authorities, especially in the context of the negotiations of the EU-US data protection agreement in the field of police and judicial co-operation, where the draft text has been on the table now for two years,” said Mina Andreeva, the commissioner’s spokesperson.
US President Barack Obama’s administration has recently come under fire after revelations showed the US spy institution, the National Security Agency (NSA), has ordered one of the nation’s major phone companies to collect and submit phone records of tens of millions of its American and European customers under a “top-secret” court order issued in April.
The revelation further confirmed international suspicions of US government surveillance measures on society.
“National security is a matter for the member states, but this case goes to show that a clear legal framework for the protection of personal data is not a luxury or not a constraint: it is a fundamental right,” Andreeva added.
Despite public outrage, Obama and Director of US National Intelligence Agency James Clapper defended the massive surveillance efforts as “legal,” longstanding and well-known to the Congress.
On Sunday, meanwhile, former NSA system administrator and ex-CIA undercover agent, Edward Snowden, revealed that he was the source behind leaking the information about the massive NSA surveillance of American electronic communications.
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